Rearing betta fry is an exciting yet daunting part of fish ownership, but one facet of this process some betta owners aren’t prepared for is the special food that betta fry requires. The best food for these betta fries is infusoria, and you can actually make it yourself. Making your own infusoria for betta fry can seem intimidating, but it is simple enough that you probably already have all the items needed on hand!
In this article, we will explain how to make infusoria for betta fry in a few simple steps, how long to feed infusoria to your fry, and the benefits of this homemade fish superfood.
What is Infusoria?
Infusoria is a collective term for microorganisms in water like protozoa, amoebas, and daphnia. These organisms feed on the bacteria in water, which is why they are present in almost every body of water, including your fish tank. The problem is, there isn’t usually enough infusoria in a tank to feed betta fry, which is why it’s best to grow some yourself and hand-deliver it to your betta fry.
Betta fries have specific needs when it comes to food, and infusoria checks all the boxes for appropriate fry food. The microorganisms are small enough for the fry to fit into their small mouths; they move around enough to attract the betta fry, and they are nutritionally dense enough to promote healthy growth when the betta fry are too small to eat anything else.
There is only a brief window of time in a bettas life where infusoria is the best food for them, which is when they are newly hatched. For the first 2 days, the betta fry will survive off of the egg sac that is still attached to their body after hatching, but after that, they will need micro foods like infusoria. Unlike adult bettas, who can go multiple days without feedings, betta fries need to be fed 3 to 4 times a day.
Is Infusoria Good For Betta Fry?
Yes, infusoria is good for betta fry. In fact, it is one of the most nutritionally beneficial foods that you can feed betta fry. Since the baby bettas are so small, they can’t eat the same food their adult parents do, which is why we have to find small foods that will fit in their mouths and still give them all the nutrition they need.
Adult bettas can eat a large variety of nutritionally complete foods, like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and pellets, but betta fries are just too small for these foods. Infusoria, which are microscopic living organisms, provides everything that baby bettas need to be healthy in their first week of life.
Eventually, you’ll need to switch your betta fry to different foods like baby brine shrimp as they grow and need different nutrients, but for the first week or so of life, infusoria is the perfect food. Since it can also be grown at home, infusoria is a convenient food as well. Betta can sometimes spawn at random times, and the ability to have infusoria on hand in a few days is helpful.
How Do You Get Infusoria?
Making infusoria is quite simple and can be done with nothing more than greens or vegetables, water, a few days’ time, and sunlight.
- Step 1- Take a clean jar and fill it 1/4th of the way with whichever greens or vegetables you want to use. Green beans, lettuce, cabbage, and spinach are all good choices.
- Step 2- Boil some water and pour it over the greens until the jar is 1/3rd full. This will help the greens break down more rapidly.
- Step 3- Fill the jar up the rest of the way with water from an established aquarium. This water acts as an infusion of healthy bacteria to jump-start your infusoria growing process.
- Step 4- Place your jar in a sunny window. Over the next couple of days, you will notice the water in your infusoria jar become cloudy as the greens inside decompose. This is the bacteria growing, which is what the infusoria will feed on.
- Step 5- When the water clears up, this means the infusoria has eaten all the bacteria. At this point, the infusoria is ready to be fed to your betta fry. You can use a dropper to feed the infusoria to your betta since they are too small to separate from the water.
Infusoria takes, on average, 2 to 3 days to grow, so as soon as you see your bettas spawn, you should start culturing your infusoria. Betta eggs will hatch in 3 days after they are laid, but you have a little wiggle room time-wise since the betta fry will feed off of their egg sac for a few days.
Infusoria will only be viable for around 2 days, after which you will see the water become cloudy again. At that point, you should dispose of the water in the jar and start a new culture, or preferably, already have a new culture started before the first goes bad.
How Long Can Betta Fry Eat Infusoria?
Betta fry can feed on infusoria for a week, but after a week, you’ll need to supplement their diet with more nutritionally dense food like baby brine shrimp. As your betta grows, they will need more food or different varieties to ensure they are healthy, and while infusoria is the perfect food for newly hatched betta fry, it just isn’t enough food for older fry.
Betta fry may still enjoy infusoria as they age, but like all growing babies, betta fry needs a complete diet to grow properly. If the fries aren’t fed correctly, they may become stunted or even die before they can reach their full size.
After infusoria, the next appropriate food is baby brine shrimp, either living or frozen. After that, micro pellets made specifically for betta fry are a superb choice, as they are formulated to have all the vitamins and minerals fry need.
Will Bettas Eat Infusoria?
Betta will eat infusoria, especially newly hatched fry. Older fry and even adult bettas may eat infusoria, but it isn’t appropriate as their only food. Betta fries are very limited in what they can eat because of their tiny size, which is why they love infusoria so much.
Baby bettas are attracted to infusoria because infusoria move quickly, and even as fry, the bettas have an instinct to hunt. This is one reason we recommend feeding live food like infusoria to your betta fry because they might not recognize freeze-dried or frozen offerings as food.
As for adult bettas infusoria, f you have a well-planted tank, it’s likely there is already infusoria in the water feeding off of the bacteria in your tank. This means that when your betta picks at the leaves and algae in the plants, they’re eating the infusoria clustered there, even if we can’t see it.
How Do You Feed Infusoria To Betta Fry?
Infusoria are microorganisms in water and are therefore considered liquid food. As such, you’re limited in the ways you can feed infusoria to your betta fry. The best method to feed infusoria to betta fry is to use a dropper to deliver the infusoria directly to your betta fry instead of dumping the infusoria in the tank and hoping the fry can find them.
Using a dropper is the best way to feed any food to betta fry, not just infusoria. Fry are small, and while they are relatively fast, they have a harder time chasing down and eating food than their larger counterparts. When you use a dropper to deliver the infusoria for betta fry, or any other food, you’re ensuring that they get enough to eat. We can buy pipettes and droppers at some aquarium stores, but if you can’t find any, they are also sold at art stores.
Infusoria is only good for 2 days in homemade jars, so as soon as you start feeding on one jar, it’s a good idea to start another so it will be ready as soon as the first goes bad. You’ll know your infusoria jar isn’t good anymore when the water becomes cloudy again. This lets you know that the bacteria have taken over the infusoria, and there is nothing left in the jar to feed your betta fry.
Infusoria is a collection of microorganisms that exist in most bodies of water, including fish tanks. These tiny organisms are the perfect food for betta fry and can be made at home with minimal time and effort.
If you want to raise betta fry, you’ll first want to make sure you’re able to culture infusoria as well, since there is really no food better suited to the tiny fry. Once you’ve mastered the art of making infusoria, you’ll be able to make food for your betta fry in just a few days so they can grow into the strong, colorful adults we all love so much.